UN envoy to work toward UN oversight of Yemeni port

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 17 (Xinhua) The UN envoy for Yemen said Friday he plans to visit Hodeidah next week to work toward a UN supervision over the Yemeni port that handles 80 percent of the humanitarian relief to the war-torn country. 

“I plan to visit Hodeidah next week … to revisit a UN supervisory role (for the port),” Martin Griffiths, the special envoy of the secretary-general for Yemen, told the Security Council.

He added he is encouraged by the recent calls from the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels as well as the Saud-led coalition backing the government “for the UN to step forward” in this regard.

Over the summer, the UN envoy made some progress to reach a negotiated handover of the port to the UN. He vowed: “Let us build on this rather than retreat from this.”

In June, the coalition started an operation to retake from the Houthis the port, a vital lifeline for a country already teetering on the brink of famine.

Recent reports have said the coalition have abandoned this attempt to capture Hodeidah without any gains amid concern about a humanitarian catastrophe.